Monday, August 01, 2005

Unexpected (but worth it) Expenses

This weekend saw my credit card balance go up to $1000 after being paid off a couple months ago.

This weekend there was a family reunion up at my parents farm. About 100 people were in attendance, some of whom I hadn't seen for several years. After everyone left, Darcy and I stuck around to give my parents a gift for their anniversary.

About 8:00 my dad went out to milk the cows, and then came running back in with chilling words: "We've got a fire here!" I looked out the window and could see flames coming out of the barn. I ran to the phone to call 911, but it was dead. My sister grabbed her call phone and dialed for help as I ran down to the barn, my father was there inside spraying down one of the walls with a hose, it hadn't spread too far yet, so he was able to get the flames under control while the fire department was on it's way.

In the meantime I was getting the cows in the area out of the barn. One cow directly in front of the fire was was burned slightly on the ears and hurt herself as she pulled back from the stall and yanked on her chain, her neck rubbed a bit raw. We got her out ok though, along with the other ones.

Once the fire department got there, they tore out some of the walls to make sure there wasn't still fire or embers in there that might ignite again. They figure it was an electrical fire, perhaps from a radio. They were there for a couple hours. Once they left, there were a whole number of problems that were left to figure out.

There was no electricity in the barn - no lights, no power for the vacuum milking system.

The Cows need to be milked - if you don't milk cows on schedule, they might actually start leaking milk, and if they're not milked on time, the milk can actually start to sour inside of them, causing an infection.

Thankfully there was still power to the milkroom, where the milk is kept in a chilled, stainless steel tank.

A neighbor (who is also a farmer) came up and helped get some things sorted out. They figured out that they could get the vacuum pump working for the milking, but still had no lights. It was just about closing time for the local Wal*Mart, so Darcy and I ran down there and bought a small generator, a couple sets of floodlights, some long extension cords, a a fan and a couple other items. Ran close to a $1000 - put it on the credit card, but didn't think twice about it.

Get everything set up about midnight and was able to milk the cows and close up around 2:00 am. A long day.

I'm going back over there today, and if there are more needs, I won't hesitate to put more on the card to help them out.


Jose Anes said...

I understand the need to help your father on his business. I would have done the same.

This is a moment to reflect about the emergency preparedness that your father's business may have. What is the plan for other "dissasters"? Insurance? Equipment? Business credit card to absorb this kind of event?

Money and Investing

Jose Anes said...

Also... sometimes it is a good idea to consider renting instead of getting into debt.

Home Depot rents some equipment. Maybe, the next time you need a $500 piece of equipment, you may be able to do with a $40/day fee for two or three days.

It may be a good way to avoid debt.

Debt tends to accumulate, as several "emergencies" together may pile up into debt very easily.

Just suggestions.
Had I been in the same situation, I would have probably acted in the same way.

Money and Investing

Jonathan said...

Hope everything turns out ok!

Shirazi said...

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